- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2020

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney proposed Monday giving a $1,000 handout to every American adult in an attempt to help the U.S. economy weather the coronavirus which is devastating markets.

The money is intended to “help fill the gaps” for Americans who are starting to have issues with their paychecks and bills. The senator sees it as an additional step to the House-passed coronavirus bill that includes free testing, paid sick leave and solidifies unemployment benefits.

“We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services,” Mr. Romney, Utah Republican, said in a statement.

The idea of giving $1,000 to every American adult was first made popular by ex-presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Hawaii Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a candidate in the Democratic primary race, introduced a bill with a similar proposal in the House last week.

The stipend is just one of the suggestions Mr. Romney floated.

He also called for bridge grants from the Small Business Association for small companies that expect a 50% revenue loss because of the virus.

For students, Mr. Romney calls for loan payments to be suspended as well as student fees and grants next year to take into account last-minute expenses on travel, housing and storage students incurred as universities and colleges shut down.

Mr. Romney also wants the government to foot the bill for private insurance companies to cover the cost of telehealth services related to the coronavirus.

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